Hip pointers are contusion injuries in the pelvic area as a result of a direct blow on the hip bone and a common complaint of Tampa chiropractor patients. It develops through the direct injury to the iliac crest, which is the prominent bone protrusion on the anterior pelvic area. A hip pointer happens as a result of the crushing of the soft tissues between the hard iliac crest and a hard object. The contusion injury in hip pointers progresses to bruising of the transverse and oblique muscles in the abdomen and in certain instances, an avulsion fracture may develop in the pelvic bone.
Hip pointers may result from any activity that may involve a direct blow on the iliac crest. Most common causes include sports such as hockey and football due to poor use of equipment and a direct blow from sports accidents. A fall landing on the iliac crest may also result to such.
Hip pointers can contribute to significant pain along the sides of the pelvis and abdomen and pain is considered as the most debilitating symptom. The pain usually results from the irritation of the cluneal nerve that lies over the iliac crest. The pain can also be aggravated by the development of bruises on the pelvis because swelling may compress the underlying nerves more. The pain is characterized as a sharp or dull pain on the iliac crest and abdominal muscles and becomes more severe during breathing deeply, laughing, coughing and walking. Due to these, most affected individuals become debilitated with reduced ability to perform activities of daily living.
Bruising on the hip pointer can also cause bleeding on the muscles that move the leg sideways, which are the hip abductor muscles. This further leads to swelling on the area making leg movement painful. Moreover, when the hematoma or blood clots build on the femur near the femoral nerve, it may lead to further pain and limitation of movements.
Hip pointers and pain require conservative as well as advanced management techniques for full recovery. Initially, rest, ice, compression and elevation are the first line of managements for a hip pointer injury on the first 48 hours. These ensure reduced pain and swelling on the injured parts. After 48 hours, exercises to increase strength and flexibility of the pelvic and abdominal muscles are started to promote muscle healing. Stretching exercises are usually employed for this purpose.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation. Corticosteroid injections may also be administered for faster pain relief. When pain has already subsided, range of motion activities and sports massage are employed for full recovery.
Hip pointers following the prescribed managements may heal completely. The average recovery period is from one to six weeks. Early diagnosis and managements allow for better recovery and improved health outcomes. If you suffered from an injury to your pelvic area and been feeling pain over the area, it is recommended to seek medical consult for appropriate managements. Also, if you participate in activities that may lead to hip pointers, using protective equipment such as hip pads may help prevent sudden and high impact blow to the iliac crest preventing hip pointers and pain.